George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Major General Benedict Arnold, 14 September 1780

To Major General Benedict Arnold

Head Quarters Bergen County 14th Sepr 1780

Dear Sir

I have received your favors of the 11th and 12th:1 I have no objection to your sending the two pieces of Cannon to Colo. Gouvion.

Under the circumstances you mentio⟨n⟩ you may detain the Men of Colo. Putnams Reg⟨t⟩ who are serving as Bargemen to you, and if you can withdraw the Batteaumen sent down to Kings ferry, with convenience, it will be a measure intirely agreeable to me.

I hope Colo. Hays plans for obtaining a supply of Flour from the State of New York, and his application to the people of the Grants, will both meet with success. He is a faithful and indefatigable Officer. I am Dear Sir Your most obt and humble Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I shall be at Peekskill on sunday ⟨e⟩vening on my way to Harford to meet the French Admiral and General.2 You will ⟨be⟩ pleased to send down a Guard of a Captain and fifty at that time, and direct ⟨th⟩e Qr Mr to endeavour to have a nights ⟨f⟩orage for about 40 Horses. You will keep this to yourself, as I want ⟨to⟩ make my Journey a secret.3

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, NN: Harkness Collection; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Mutilated and obscured material on the LS is supplied in angle brackets from the draft, which is in the writing of GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman.

2The next Sunday was 17 Sept.; see also The Hartford Conference, 20–22 Sept., editorial note.

3Arnold replied to GW on 16 September.

GW had written Nehemiah Hubbard, deputy quartermaster general, from headquarters in Bergen County on 13 Sept.: “I have made an appointment to meet the Count de Rochambeau and The Chevalier de Ternay, who will be accompanied by the commanding Officers of Artillery and Engineers in the French Army, at Harford on the 20th instant. The Marquis de la Fayette—Genl Knox and the commanding Officer of the Corps of Engineers in our service will accompany me. You will be pleased to provide the best quarters which the Town affords, and make every necessary preparation of Forage and other matters. I shall have an escort of twelve or fifteen Dragoons The French General will probably have a like number” (LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, CtMMCH; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton wrote on the cover of the LS: “Mr Kearse [Keese] will be pleased to have this forwarded to Hartford with the greatest dispatch”). Hubbard was advanced money from the Connecticut council on 19 Sept. “to make provision for the reception and entertainment of his Excellency, General Washington and the French Admiral and General at Hartford agreeable to the orders of his Excellency” (Conn. Public Records description begins The Public Records of the State of Connecticut . . . with the Journal of the Council of Safety . . . and an Appendix. 18 vols. to date. Hartford, 1894–. description ends , 3:164).

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